Local restaurant helps one fight cancer

Posted at 9:57 PM, Feb 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-16 23:57:12-05

A local restaurant is helping one woman fight cancer, and now she wants you to know her story and hear how you can help.

"I am 36 years old, this should not be my fate," said Carrie Cotsibas.

Back in October Carrie Cotsibas got a phone call from her doctor that would change her world.

"She told me I hate to tell you this but have cervical cancer," said  Cotsibas. 

The news was so shocking Cotsibas didn't know how to process it.

"Immediately, I thought I am going to die," Cotsibas added.

She would soon find out the cancer was stage four the worst case scenario. 

"After a couple of days of testing, we figure out that I had a year to live," Cotsibas explained.

When she shared the news, she was blown away by the compassion from her co-workers. 

"She didn't work with us long enough to get benefits and so we saw that there was a need to reach out to help her," said Sunni Bendinelli, Service Manager at Old Chicago.

Bendinelli said that everyone immediately started rooting for Carrie.

The vibrant young woman then got a call from her corporate office.

"She was like what can I do what can I do. She paid my bills immediately. I've had my rent, and utilities paid for the last four months, and it's meant so much to me," said Cotsibas.

This was all thanks to the company's unique program. 

"When I first got hired at Old Chicago, there was this box I could check out that was called the hope fund," said Cotsibas

Each month Cotsibas would give a small donation from her paycheck not knowing she would be a recipient.

Now she has hope for the future. 

"I told myself early on, I'm either going to be a statistic or miracle and I'm gonna be a miracle," said Cotsibas.

She said her one wish is to make sure everyone knows her story and gets a checkup.